Whitehead (Sam Hennings) and Lt. Rice (Alfre Woodard) investigate the arson at a local theater as Dwight (Jason Lee) and his momma (Celia Weston) head down to New Orleans on personal business when the man (Red West) convicted of Dwight’s father’s death comes up for early release due to a life-threatening medical condition. Dwight has a few questions about his father, a wad of dirty money, and the real circumstances around the night his father was killed.
The episode, entitled “Things We Carry,” focuses on what we hold onto, and the hard choices of things we need to let go. Dwight is forced to make a decision concerning unanswered questions about his father and his hatred of the man who murdered him. It isn’t an easy choice, but the answer the show arrives at fits the character perfectly.
The New Orleans storyline also introduces Lesley-Ann Brandt in a small role as a Louisiana bar owner and singer, and old flame of Dwight’s. The two perform together for the show’s closing number.
The B-story gives us another fun odd couple pairing of Hennings and Woodard’s characters, which is always fun. Fans of Eddie and the Cruisers should also note Eddie Wilson himself (Michael Paré) in the role of the theater owner who has been selling the theater out nights to a local sex club.
Memphis Beat is finding its feet in its Second Season by focusing as much on character as the mystery of the week. I hope we see more of Brandt, or possibly the return of Internal Affairs officer Claire Ryan (Beau Garrett), both of whom had good chemistry with the show’s star.